In 2016, the previous government, led by former Head of Government Abdelilah Benkirane, introduced a reform of the compensation fund that provides subsidies to remove subsidies on butane gas and food products, such as flour.
On May 29, Bouanou criticized the delay of the reform. He also criticized the Minister of Government and General Affairs Lahcen Daoudi.
During the parliamentary meeting held in Rabat on May 29, Bouanou said that Daoudi told the group that “the clean-up of butane gas subsidies will not come into effect until 2022. The measures have been taken since the previous government so why this delay[?]”
He added that some “threaten us and tell us to be careful not to touch the gas, but we must continue the reforms.”
The government has announced its determination to phase out subsidies on several products, including sugar, butane gas, and flour in January 2018.
On January 23, Daoudi said that “many of those who are currently receiving support from the compensation fund do not want subsidies to be abolished as some of them consume 100 bottles of gas per day for water extraction.”
Daoudi said there should be no increase in the prices of butane gas to respect the purchasing power of “poor and vulnerable categories.”
An estimated MAD 12 billion was spent on the compensation fund in 2017, while nearly MAD 200 billion was spent between 2011 and 2015.
Bouanou’s comes amid a major boycott targeting three companies: Centrale Danone, Afriquia gas, and Sidi Ali.
Bouanou was among the officials who supported the ongoing boycott, unveiling the revenues of fuel companies.
In a parliamentary meeting earlier in May, Bouanou said that removing subsidies could save the government as much as “MAD 7 billion in one year of additional profits” as the Moroccan market annually consumes 6.5 million tons of fuel. Bouanou also claimed that the profit margin for some fuel companies has tripled since the liberalization of fuel prices.